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House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was edc.

Topics

Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government's inaction is devastating our forest industry. Now the U.S. is expected to add a second softwood lumber tariff to the one that has already caused thousands of layoffs in Canada.

Does the minister know whether the U.S. plans to increase the tariff by as high as 40%? Should this happen, will the government commit today to an income support program for forest industry workers affected by job losses?

Will the government finally stand up to the U.S. and ensure the well-being of our forest industry?

Lumber IndustryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

London—Fanshawe Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, the question is hypothetical. We will get the formal notice of the decision tomorrow.

In the meantime, the government will continue to do what it has been doing very aggressively for months, and that is to proceed on our two track policy, availing ourselves of our legal avenue at the WTO. We filed for a WTO panel on October 25. Meanwhile, a series of aggressive discussions are ongoing with full federal and provincial participation.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, an official from the solicitor general's office was quoted this morning as saying that a request by customs and immigration officers and park wardens to carry sidearms is “a compensation issue wrapped up as a safety issue because these workers can't find any other ways to get more money”.

The RCMP and CSIS are currently overextended during this time of heightened national security.

Will the solicitor general agree to arming these federal employees who are already responsible for border security?

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, we all know that, with regard to the customs organization, of course the safety and security of our employees is very important indeed. We have been discussing that question, which has been raised on numerous occasions by the union. Lately, I also met with the president of the union to discuss that. In my mind there is no question that the customs officers will be receiving sidearms.

Notwithstanding that fact, I would like to tell the House that there is a risk assessment analysis taking place at the present time. However, as far as I am concerned, with the risk assessment I have seen, there is no question we will give sidearms to the customs officers.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, with the peacekeeping commitment we have made in Bosnia and around the world, our Canadian forces are stretched to the limit. This being the case, we may require our reservists to serve and provide backing for our forces. It is projected that up to one half of our reservists may not even report for duty if called. Why? Because we do not provide them with job protection like other countries do.

When will the Minister of Defence and the government take action to provide our reservists with job protection when they are called for duty?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, our reservists would only be asked to report on a voluntary basis and of course they would have to consider their job situation when doing that. I must however point out that the Canadian forces liaison council has signed up thousands of businesses in the country to assist in giving reservists the time off that they need.

Furthermore, the hon. member should remember that back during the ice storm some 15,000 Canadian forces personnel, most of them reservists, were made available and helped Canadians in that disaster.

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the anti-terrorism legislation defines a terrorist act as an act committed for a political, religious or ideological purpose. Yesterday the fisheries minister voiced his concern that the anti-terrorism bill could unfairly target minorities. Canadians share his concern.

Will the Minister of Justice advise why these groups are being singled out?

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, time and time again I have made it plain that these groups are not being singled out.

Let me also clarify that there is no disagreement between the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and myself. We both agree that what is important here is to hear from both the House of Commons committee and the Senate committee, and I look forward to that advice and those recommendations.

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the political or religious motivation behind the explosion of a terrorist bomb is irrelevant. However, the minister chooses to target religious or political groups in the definition of terrorist act.

Will the minister show respect for the religious and political beliefs of Canadians by removing this offensive phrase from the legislation?

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I have said before and I will say again very clearly, what we are targeting is terrorist activity regardless of by whom it is committed. We are targeting terrorist entities.

North American SecurityOral Question Period

October 30th, 2001 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois proposed that any future North American security perimeter should include all NAFTA partners, Canada, the United States and Mexico.

For President Bush, North America's security includes Mexico. That is why yesterday he referred to a perimeter involving the three countries.

Does the Prime Minister agree with the Bloc Quebecois and President Bush that, for economic and social reasons, a North American security perimeter must include Mexico?

North American SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister already said that he intends to discuss this issue with the United States and with Mexico.

North American SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, negotiations to establish a security perimeter will cover a number of subjects, including immigration.

Given the Canada-Quebec agreement on this matter, will the Prime Minister make a commitment to consult with Quebec and respect its jurisdiction during the course of these negotiations?

North American SecurityOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, will we respect not only the jurisdiction of Quebec, but that of all the provinces. This respect is very important to us. But as the national government, the federal government, we have a responsibility to represent all of our country's interests, and we will respect this jurisdiction.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the health minister's department prepared a report before September 11 and just now published. The report says that costs of an anthrax attack on just 100,000 Canadians would cost us over $6 billion and a botulism attack over $8 billion.

The report by Health Canada's Centre for Emergency Preparedness said that the government should spend between $50 million and $100 million to prepare reasonably. Yet the Minister of Health has allocated only about $5 million to stockpile medicines. His department says that is not nearly enough. Why has he not listened?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member's question is based on a report written almost three years ago. We really have to do something about getting the Alliance research bureau a quick response unit.

Since September 11, a great deal has changed. Since April 1999, a great deal more has changed. In the meantime Health Canada has opened the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response. We have put almost $12 million into training and to strengthening laboratories, stockpiling antibiotics and other medications, doing the very things that Ron St. John said are needed. We will continue to do the things necessary to make sure Canada is ready.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, although the report was just published, the minister has just admitted that he has had it for some time. The report, even before September 11, said that he should be spending between $50 million and $100 million to stockpile medicines for Canadians. Yet he is only spending about $5 million now, after September 11.

How can he claim that it is enough to prepare us for bioterror?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, shortly after that report was published, we asked the principal author to become the executive director of our Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response. We gave him the authority to put in place the things we need to make this country ready. We will continue to do exactly that.

International ExchangesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Secretary of State for Science, Research and Development is back from Germany, where he took part in the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Canada-Germany science and technology cooperation agreement.

Could the secretary of state tell the House how our country is benefiting from this agreement?

International ExchangesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet Québec

Liberal

Gilbert Normand LiberalSecretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, on October 25, in Bonn, Germany, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of technology exchanges between our two countries.

I signed a new agreement with my counterpart, the minister of science in Germany, Mrs. Bulmahn. In order to implement this agreement, the National Research Council of Canada and the national research council of Germany will provide $720,000 annually.

The exchanges will involve mostly telemedicine, optoelectronics, agriculture and biotechnologies. This is yet another example which shows that Canada can take part in international exchanges.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Abbott Canadian Alliance Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has sidelined 425 of its peace officers by not providing sidearms to the national park wardens. Those people unfortunately, who are ready, willing and able to do their jobs, are sitting on their hands.

Considering that the revenue minister has just announced that the customs officers are going to be receiving firearms, will the heritage minister make the same announcement for the national park wardens?

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, what I said about customs officers, I would like to be more precise. I forgot to mention the “not” which is very important indeed. We are not going to give sidearms to the customs officers as far as I am concerned.

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Abbott Canadian Alliance Kootenay—Columbia, BC

That is just outstanding, Mr. Speaker. I cannot believe that the minister would even have the audacity to stand up and say that, when we have people at the border trying to protect us and they cannot protect themselves. That is over the top. I cannot believe this minister. What excuse does he have for not allowing them to protect themselves?

National SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, customs officers have been well trained. Lately customs officers have been given official powers as well as very good training. They have been provided with the additional tools to fulfill their duties. They are doing a wonderful job for our Canadian society. They all know in the field that they do not need sidearms to protect our Canadian society. That is not our vision of Canada.

Anti-Terrorism LegislationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Justice showed some openness and said she was prepared to review the definition of “terrorist activity” and to provide a control mechanism regarding access to information, two issues that the Bloc Quebecois identified as being problematic.

The minister also said that sunset clauses could apply to some clauses of the bill.

Like her colleague, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, is the Minister of Justice prepared to make a firm commitment that her bill will indeed include sunset clauses?